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NHS challenges graphic designers to cut A&E abuse

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By John Glenday | Reporter

November 16, 2011 | 1 min read

Graphic designers have been solicited by the NHS in a bid to reduces abuse of staff by patients through the use of improved design.

The year long project has been devised in partnership with psychologists and the Design Council to produce cheap solutions to the growing instances of violence and verbal assault.

A key plank of the plan is to make patients feel less alienated and to better communicate why they may be required to wait.

This could see clearer signs and maps introduced which better explain the A&E process – possibly with screens providing live updates of the volume of patients being seen to.

Design Council head David Kester said: "This is design at its best - solving a long-standing, high-cost problem through creativity, simplicity and collaboration.

"For not much more than £60,000 hospitals can now quickly and easily install this system which could significantly reduce the burden of aggression from patients."

Some 57,830 instances of physical assault on NHS staff were reported last year alone – a continuation of a worsening trend.

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